NFT Spotlight: REPLICATOR by Mad Dog Jones

Please note that the following review is not an endorsement of purchasing the NFTs discussed, and the author does not themself own any of the collection.

NFTs come in a broad range of formats, from video clips to still images to audio clips. The most intriguing examples, however, are the ones that make use of the unique functionality of NFTs themselves. A good example is the REPLICATOR collection by Canadian NFT artist Mad Dog Jones (also known as Michah Dowbak) which takes full advantage of the power of smart contracts to offer some intriguing possibilities.

Originating with a short animated video clip of a photocopier, each entry in the collocation retains that central element but varies the surrounding environment. So far, so expected for NFT art. But tying in with the theme of replication, the smart contract contained within NFTs in the collection creates new NFT generations over time.

The project has seven distinct generations containing bespoke artwork, all with cyberpunk, dystopian stylings that neatly align with Web3 concepts such as the metaverse. The original piece was sold by art dealer Phillips for $4,144,000 In April 2021 and according to the artist’s site, so far 208 examples have been generated.

To avoid exponential growth where each piece could generate new versions indefinitely, Dowbak’s collection is capable of producing so-called jams (again referencing the photocopier central to the pieces) which result in unique artworks but also stop a generation from being able to replicate any further.

REPLICATOR by Mad Dog Jones
Image credit: REPLICATOR by Mad Dog Jones

The Collection

The animation in each piece tends to be relatively low-key, dedicated to producing an overall mood rather than drawing too much attention. Sometimes that can work against the piece’s favour, but it does ensure that the mood tends to be both intimate, thanks to the cramped confines and soft lighting, and unsettling, with an everpresent dystopian skyline outside.

The selection of a photocopier as the main subject of the collection is a pointed one, with Phillips noting that it’s a “nostalgic nod to a once-cutting-edge technology, now on its way toward obsolescence.” With that in mind, the collection reflects on the current ubiquity of NFTs – serving as a memento mori that nothing last forever.

Of course, it also ties in thematically with the concept of replication, as well as contributing to a 1980s aesthetic. “REPLICATOR is the story of a machine through time. It is a reflection on forms of past groundbreaking innovation and serves as a metaphor for modern technology’s continuum. I’m interested to see how collectors will respond as the work evolves and the NFTs in their possession continue to create new generations,” said Mad Dog Jones.

What this means is that the collection can include a narrative that reveals itself over time. In the original generation, we see a copy machine turning on and off in an office setting. In some of the collection, the looming threat of the outside has successfully crept in, as with a Generation 6 example in which the copier and the room at large have been destroyed and sprayed with graffiti. Most are much lower key, however, whether that’s a waste paper basket fire in Generation 3 or a lizard invasion in Generation 4.

The Background

This is not Mad Dog Jones first foray into NFTs, having previously worked on a collection known as Crash + Burn, which consisted of seven unique pieces. Accessing said pieces required ownership of five separate examples from a previous NFT drop. Once collected, they could be sent to the artist, who would burn them in exchange for an item from the Crash + Burn collection. In doing so, Mad Dog Jones rewarded owners of pieces from his first collection, which saw an increase in value thanks to the sudden addition of new utility.

Image credit: Crash + Burn by Mad Dog Jones

The deployment of random chance means the collection also engages with the broader world of “aleatoric” or “aleatory” art whereby artists have embraced the role of random chance in their artworks. Randomisation is a prominent feature of the NFT landscape, as with the interchangeable traits that constitute the characters of the best-known NFT collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

It raises an interesting broader point about the artistic value of algorithmically-assembled pieces. While individual elements may have had plenty of thought put into them, their combination could produce an undesirable effect. That possibility has become an accepted part of the NFT market, with the masses of unremarkable and ugly examples inflating the price of the ones that are thematically coherent (although exceptionally ugly examples can become more valuable by virtue of that fact).

The Verdict

REPLICATOR is a good example of the possibilities afforded to artists who embrace the unique possibilities of Web3. Thanks to the power of smart contracts, pieces that would otherwise be experienced as fairly disposable art objects can be given utility that radically extends their lifespans.

NFT Spotlight: Color Block Party by Yener Torun

Please note that the following review is not an endorsement of purchasing the NFTs discussed, and the author does not themself own any of the collection.

Photography has become one of the cornerstones of the NFT space, ranking as a discrete category on the largest NFT marketplace OpenSea alongside collectables, music and virtual worlds. The attraction of NFTs to photographers is obvious. While there is a clear appetite for viewing photos (the most popular photo-sharing site, Instagram, sees 1.22 billion users per month), typically photographers are not paid anything for attracting views – instead needing to enter into partnerships and act as influencers. Other digital avenues like selling photos to stock photography sites do bring in direct money, but typically that’s measured in cents.

NFTs are shaking up the photography landscape by representing an avenue by which photographs can sell for significant amounts, thanks to the digital form of scarcity that NFTs have pioneered. And thanks to smart contracts, artists can also benefit from royalties for every onwards sale. With that in mind, we’re turning our attention today to an NFT collection known as Color Block Party from established photographer, Yener Torun.

Image Credit: Yener Torun

The Background

The Turhal, Turkey-born Torun is known for his flat, geometric compositions of minimalist buildings. Torun is a trained architect, having studied at Istanbul Technical University before starting a photography project in 2014 – his time studying architecture clearly an influence on the choice of subject for his photographs. Before selling his work as NFTs, Torun found success exhibiting his creation on Instagram, where his images have attracted 166,000 followers. His works have also been licensed by Google as official Android wallpapers.

Color Block Party is Yener’s first foray into NFTs, with the collection minted in September 2021. The collection of 30 photographs draws from across his portfolio, with most of his images featuring buildings from his adopted hometown of Istanbul. Yener’s collection is composed of work from the earlier part of his career, consisting of non-commercial photos published between 2015 and 2019 – a choice which he said is down to making the collection more coherent.

As he told The Modern Analogue, “It all started as a hobby, but within no time it became a passion. I finally felt like I had found something that gave free rein to my creative urges and helped me express myself through what I create – without any restrictions or the instructions and expectations of others. I let myself be influenced by all the things I like – music, painting, cinema, graphic design, popular culture, and even architecture itself. Then I turned those influences into something new and unique. Since then, I have spent a lot of time on the streets and on the computer honing my photography and editing skills to express myself in the best way possible.”

Image Credit: Yener Torun

The Collection

Thanks to the pastel colours, symmetrical framing and flat compositions, Yener’s works are highly reminiscent of the work of director Wes Anderson. A recurring theme in the collection is windows, their own uniformity reflecting and informing the buildings as a whole.

According to Yener’s description of the collection, “Yener’s compositions typically flatten space and emphasize lines and colours over depth. He transforms the urban landscape by reinterpreting architecture as geometric abstraction, creating an alternate reality by removing architectural elements from their original environment and repurposing them.”

It’s worth remarking on the fact that, while the images give off a distinct sense of spontaneity, they are highly edited, as the artist has revealed via before and after comparisons. He told the Guardian: “I increase the brightness and saturation to create a heightened sense of reality, which tricks the viewer into questioning what is real and what is not.” Alongside that is extensive digital recomposing and recolourisation, all to produce an effect that seems to return imperfect real-world buildings to an idealised design stage.

Image Credit: Yener Torun

Further asserting the sense that the point is not to valourise the buildings depicted within the photographs is the fact that no geographical information is contained within the NFTs themselves. Each image comes only with a short title, often a wry reference to what the photograph depicts (WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS for an example prominently featuring the colour yellow, for instance), though three go without a title at all. The overall effect is to transform these real locations into surreal and stylised glimpses of the urban spaces the majority of us live in.

The Verdict

The medium of photography in general is well suited to the digital world of NFTs. By serving as a more equitable means of buying and selling art, NFTs are bringing in established photographers as well as inspiring others to take up their cameras for the first time. Yener’s collection, meanwhile, is especially well suited to the culture of NFT art and its fondness for hyperreal, digitally abstracted versions of the world.

Top 7 Most Popular Ethereum Metaverses

A swathe of platforms have sprung up in recent times to offer users the opportunity to play, interact and even own spaces within virtual worlds known as metaverses. With new metaverses appearing all the time, it’s useful to know which are garnering the most attention, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the biggest metaverses running on the Ethereum blockchain. We’ve ranked our choices based on all-time volume, using data from OpenSea’s virtual worlds category taken on 24 May 2022. With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look!

7. Arcade (17,931.15ETH)

We begin with a 2D metaverse, Arcade. Its stated purpose is to provide unique homes in the metaverse for existing NFT collections. The experience supports land ownership as well as using third-party NFTs as in-game avatars. The project is a spin-off from the developers of the Apes vs Mutants game, which let owners of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club collections compete against each other using their avatars.

6. Worldwide Webb (24,338.63ETH)

Like Arcade Land before it, Worldwide Webb is a 2D experience. The platform describes itself as an interoperable MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) metaverse, claiming to have 80,000 users. The Worldwide Webb platform allows users to buy land as well as build and customise apartments upon that land. Unlike some other metaverses on this list, however, it also includes features of a play-to-earn game, with users earning NFT items and coins by playing minigames.

Thanks to its 2D nature, the experience also supports players using their NFTs as avatars via partnerships with a host of NFT collections – the most recent being The Doge Pound.

Screenshot of

5. Voxels (24,954.87ETH)

Voxels (formerly known as CryptoVoxels) is a metaverse accessible by browser that offers users the chance to explore a dense, interconnected city. New land parcels are sold on the platform’s primary market each week, with secondary sales on OpenSea. Unlike most other entries on this list, instead of just selling basic plots, Voxel parcels include buildings and are sold with street addresses like “Apartment at 3 Wright Street”.

4. Somnium Space (26,400.59ETH)

Despite the metaverse often being conceptualised as a virtual reality experience in the public imagination (just look at the likes of Ready Player One, for example), Somnium Space is the only VR metaverse on this list. That dearth of VR experiences might be because of the conflict that stems from proprietary ecosystems such as Meta’s offering rubbing up against the desire for decentralization that lies at the heart of metaverse platforms.

Nevertheless, Somnium Space achieves fourth position by enabling users to experience a virtual world much more tangibly than other entries on this list. Players are able to buy virtual land and populate it with objects they build or buy in the form of tokenised in-game items, or equally just explore land owned by others.

3. NFT Worlds (48,302.73ETH)

NFT Worlds is one of the hardest-to-grasp metaverse offerings. Describing itself as a multi-metaverse, the project actually consists of 10,000 virtual worlds, each of which is realised using Microsoft’s smash hit open-world building and survival game Minecraft. NFT Worlds is at pains to state that: “NFT Worlds is in no way associated with, endorsed by, or a partner of Minecraft, Mojang, Microsoft or any related parties”, however.

Each world can have different rules and objectives decided by the owner, from focusing on building worlds to play-to-earn games in a range of different genres. Popular worlds include the Meets Metaverse, which is focused on social networking, and first-person shooter battle arena The Mothership.

2. The Sandbox (151,630.28ETH)

Coming in second place (far ahead of the previous entries on this list in terms of sales volume) is The Sandbox. Known for its distinct voxel style, the Sandbox is potentially the most well known of the current range of metaverses, thanks to partnerships with celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, who has created an experience on The Sandbox known as the Snoopverse. The platform offers its own software for creating, rigging and animating voxel-based NFTs to be used in-world and sold on the Sandbox’s marketplace, which uses the platform’s native SAND token.

1. Decentraland (162,628.98ETH)

While The Sandbox is hot on its heels, Decentraland currently stands as the most popular metaverse by volume. Users of the platform are able to purchase plots of land on the open market, within which any kind of experience can be built. The versatility of the platform has resulted in many different approaches – from PwC buying a plot of land to act as a hub for its Web3 advisory offering to Millennium Hotels and Resorts launching a virtual hotel.

The native currency of the platform is MANA, with which you can also buy and sell land assets. The platform supports wearable NFTs which are dropped in limited-edition collections and are fully tradable by the community. And unlike some other examples, Decentraland lives up to its name by being fully decentralized and operated via a DAO – with members voting on the shape the metaverse will take going forwards.

NFT Spotlight: Love, Death + Art

Please note that the following review is not an endorsement of purchasing the NFTs discussed, and the author does not themself own any of the collection.

The Netflix-produced animated sci-fi anthology series Love, Death + Robots has recently released its third series. To mark that occasion, the show has partnered with a Web3 studio known as Feature to produce an NFT scavenger hunt

According to the site, QR codes have apparently been hidden within promotional videos and real-world billboards, as well as the episodes themselves. Once scanned, these codes redirect users to a website where they can view artworks and mint them as NFTs.  

Minting the NFTs requires users to have a MetaMask or Coinbase wallet. Minting the unlimited NFTs is free except for variable gas rates, and the collection encourages those without an interest in NFTs to simply save them as JPEGs.

The Collection

The collection consists of short clips from season 3 of the show, and as such inherits the production values of Love, Death and Robots, which is known for the diversity of styles between episodes.

Image Credit: Love, Death + Robots

Only three of the nine-strong collection (one for each episode of the latest series) are viewable prior to being collected. In one we see a dancing, jewel-encrusted siren, animated in a near photo-real manner. In another, three very different robots look between a clipboard and the viewer, and the final example, from the episode “The Very Pulse of the Machine”, sees a lone figure standing over a strange alien landscape of neon lights in a pose highly reminiscent of Caspar David Friedrich’s Romantic classic Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

It’s a clever way of repurposing content, especially when that content has been created by artists working at the level required to produce one of Netflix’s tentpole shows. The move into NFTs is also one that makes perfect sense for Love, Death and Robots, thanks to both its technological and artistic reputation, sidestepping the weird incongruity of projects like that of TV chef Gino D’Acampo. In other words, more people will be happy to give the NFT collection the benefit of the doubt, instead of denouncing it as a cash grab.

At the time of writing, some 27,000 NFTs have been minted, with a floor price of 0.003ETH (approximately $5 or $6). It’s not a princely sum, but it highlights that there is an appetite for collectables issued in this way and gives people a small amount of motivation to take part in the scavenger hunt. Hiding the codes within promotional material and episodes is a particularly smart choice, encouraging close watching and encouraging the collection to go viral as viewers share the locations they have found codes.

The Background

Of course, this isn’t the first NFT project to base itself around a scavenger or treasure hunt. Last year, The Great NFT Treasure Hunt took a slightly different approach by hiding passwords to wallets containing 32 different NFTs across Southern California, issuing clues to their location via Twitter. And budding metaverse NFTWorlds earlier this year organised a hunt within its virtual worlds with puzzles, riddles and challenges to unlock the twelve words necessary to gain access to a wallet filled with 3ETH and 500,000 of its native WRLD currency.

Image Credit: Love, Death + Robots

Nor is this the first intersection of TV and NFTs. Fox has called its upcoming animated TV show Krapopolis “the first-ever animated series curated entirely on the blockchain“, with plans to launch a dedicated marketplace that will sell digital goods including character NFTs and social experience tokens. And Seth Green’s plan to produce an animated show featuring a Bored Ape he owned was recently thrown into jeopardy after he lost the NFT in a hack and it was subsequently resold.

While the collection isn’t much more than a novelty and makes a point of saying that the show or Netflix derives no revenue, it could represent Netflix dipping its toe into the Web3 sector following recent revelations about its poor financial health. It reported a loss of 200,000 paid subscribers in its latest quarterly earnings report and estimated it would lose another 2 million by the time of its next earnings report in July.

The Verdict

The Love, Death + Art collection highlights an interesting way for more traditional forms of media to get involved with NFTs. Done respectfully, as this has been, NFT collections such as Love, Death + Art can serve as a gateway for individuals outside of NFTs to become involved with the space – instead of alienating them. Other TV shows looking to take a similar approach should be aware, however, that without a throughline that connects NFT technology to the programme in question, viewers will likely turn up their noses.

Innovations in AR: Retail

With the global AR, VR and MR market worth $28bn in 2021 (and projected to top $250bn by 2028), it’s little wonder that companies are wanting to hop onto the XR bandwagon. In the retail industry, the augmented reality (AR) subsector is proving particularly enticing, with retail having been one of the boldest industries adopting AR technology, particularly over the past decade. That’s been aided by AR going mainstream thanks to the advent of smartphones packed with all the sensors and capabilities necessary for advanced experiences, resulting in 810 million active mobile AR users in 2021 (up from 440 million in 2019).

That rapid increase can also partly be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a huge shift to online shopping and e-commerce – adding $219bn to US e-commerce sales in 2020-2021. Of course, even before COVID-19, the ratio of internet sales to total sales was trending steadily upwards, but as the pandemic itself has abated, digital shoppers have remained. And as customers have moved online, they have become increasingly ready to embrace digital technologies such as AR. 

AR and the Customer Experience

Seizing on that appetite, retail brands have created a wide range of AR experiences to entice customers. Sportswear brand Nike, for instance, has built-in AR functionality in its app in order to properly measure shoe size. The app makes use of a smartphone camera and simply requires the user to point their phone at their feet. The app also allows customers to share their saved shoe size with Nike stores via a QR code – helping to ensure a perfectly fitting shoe.

Nike FIT Digital Foot Measurement Tool  3

Part of the attraction for retailers is the way the technology can build excitement and deliver unusual and buzzy customer experiences. Retail stores themselves can build-in AR functionality, taking advantage of their physical space to offer more complex possibilities. Consider magic mirrors, for instance, screens which capture live views of shoppers, overlaying products onto their person. AR displays can also be placed on a storefront to draw viewers inside. Timberland took exactly this approach, utilising Microsoft Kinect technology to produce a virtual fitting room in the front of a store. Shoppers could stand in front of a screen and see a virtual representation of themselves wearing Timberland clothes – all before they’d even stepped foot inside.

For brands without the capabilities to build these AR experiences themselves, agencies have sprung up to help retailers make the most of the technology. Rather than create their own AR apps, brands can also benefit from tie-ins with some of the biggest AR-enabled apps, with the likes of TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat all offering extensive filter options. That removes much of the legwork from getting started with AR, which is why there are so many examples, whether it’s Porsche, Coca-Cola, or Starbucks.

The branded filter approach has been proven effective for marketing brands, as with over-the-counter cold and flu medicine Mucinex, which created a TikTok filter which resulted in a 42.7% increase in purchase intent.

Aside from including AR in their marketing endeavours, some retail companies have even delved into creating full-fledged AR products. Consumer product manufacturer Bic has released an app and accompanying drawing book known as DrawyBook which lets children bring their illustrations to life via an AR scan.

The Virtual Try-On

Perhaps the most popular use-case for retail AR, however, is the virtual try-on. Most of the industry’s biggest brands offer some form of the technology, which allows prospective buyers to see how a product would look on them without needing to physically try it on. Typically, such AR experiences make use of the ubiquitous phone camera to display the virtual elements in real-time. Prominent virtual try-on examples include make-up from Maybelline, clothing from ASOS and Zeekit, and shoes from Vyking.

Try-ons needn’t be limited to clothing. One good example is the IKEA Place app which allows users to place 3D models of the company’s furniture into their own rooms in order to preview how they would look, automatically scaling them based on the room’s dimensions to ensure they are true to life. In the US, Home Depot has taken a similar approach, aimed at improving the experience for mobile shoppers, who make up more than twothirds of online traffic. Home Depot said in 2020 that customers who engaged with its app’s AR features were two to three times more likely to convert. 

Virtual try-ons have added benefits for retailers. It is estimated that returns cost retailers in the UK £60bn every year. If people can have a better idea of what they’re ordering before it is sent out, there’s every chance of bringing that number down – helping retailers and also the planet, as items don’t need to be sent back the other way after being delivered. Customers might be nudged into trying items virtually thanks to retailers increasingly moving away from free returns.

Room to Grow

Despite the plethora of AR options on offer, consumer interest for retail AR is still at a relatively low level. In October 2021, a survey found that only 13% of US adults had ever used AR or virtual reality (VR) to shop. Admittedly, that was up 5% on the year before, and 37% of those questioned did say they were at least somewhat interested in using AR or VR to shop. That means that 50% of US adults have either used or are interested in using AR while shopping.

According to the Impact of Augmented Reality on Retail report, of those making use of AR, 77% use the technology to visualise differences in products, such as alternative colours and styles. Meanwhile, 72% of shoppers who used AR in their shopping journey said it resulted in them buying.

AR also has a burgeoning role when it comes to navigation and directing customers around retail stores more effectively. In the US, home improvement store Lowe’s has developed an app which overlays directions onto a smartphone’s view of the store, for instance, helping customers to more quickly find what they are looking for.


In the retail sector, AR finds a distinct niche, serving to enable new and innovative customer experiences in the never-ending battle to attract potential buyers. Retailers have already become very canny with making the most of AR opportunities using customers’ smartphones – the next frontier will see better use of physical stores themselves to deliver more complex and compelling AR experiences.

NFT Spotlight: Cannes Producer Pass by pplpleasr

Please note that the following review is not an endorsement of purchasing the NFTs discussed, and the author does not themself own any of the collection.

One of the most prestigious events in the cinema calendar, the Cannes Film Festival is currently running until the 28th of May. Returning with full spectator capacity for the first time in two years thanks to a loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, the event is embracing Web3 technology in a number of ways, including the first-ever NFTCannes Summit hosted by production studio Electromagnetic Productions (EMP), global cryptocurrency financial management company Galaxy Interactive, NFT app OP3N, blockchain platform Avalanche and private investing platform Republic.

NFT Tickets

The focus of our attention today, however, is an NFT collection that confers access to screenings for some of the biggest films debuting at the festival. In keeping with 2022 being the 75th anniversary of the festival, pplpleaser, a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City, has created a series of 75 NFTs in partnership with video content publisher Brut, an official media partner of the festival. 

The artist previously worked in visual effects, with credits in feature films such as Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman and Star Trek Beyond, as well as games from Blizzard and others. She rose to prominence in the NFT world as an early creator of NFT animations, helping to define the anime-indebted aesthetic found throughout the sector.

Image Credit: pplpleasr

The collection is divided up into tiers, though each retains the same basic concept of an animated, seemingly anime-inspired white fox (somewhat reminiscent of Moro in the Studio Ghibli classic Princess Mononoke) walking the red carpet and striking a pose. The fox is fluidly animated, with silver tier NFTs featuring tie-ins with films opening at the festival. In the Top Gun: Maverick-themed NFT, it wears a pair of Aviator sunglasses, while in the Elvis-themed piece, it poses with a guitar.

While nice enough, the art is not the main attraction here. Depending on the tier of NFT purchased, different perks are accessible. NFTs in the most numerous bronze tier cost 5 ETH and confer access to the red carpet and a film showing. In the 6 ETH silver tier, holders are invited to the world premieres of Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis and Three Thousand Years of Longing respectively, while the 7 ETH gold tier NFTs enable holders to attend either the opening or closing ceremonies.

The NFTs are minted using the decentralized film distribution platform Shibuya, of which the artist pplpleasr is a founder. The platform is geared towards allowing users to fund and simultaneously guide the production of short films by minting producer pass NFTs. Unlike some other NFT-funded projects, the plan is for completed films to be made available to watch for free, rather than requiring direct NFT ownership to watch (as with Stoner Cats, an NFT collection tied to a series of short films backed, strangely enough, by Mila Kunis).

Shibuya x Cannes x Brut
Image Credit: Cannes Producer Pass NFT

The Background

All proceeds from the NFT sales will be given to the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and its Annenberg Accelerator Program, which supports aspiring female content creators.

“The Accelerator Program is one of our many solution-based initiatives to support and develop the next generation of talented female-indentifying creators,” said founder Dr. Stacy L. Smith of the collaboration. “We are thrilled that Brut and pplpleasr have seen the importance of such a project and have chosen to back us in this way.”

Interestingly, the NFTs are initially non-transferrable until they have been redeemed for red carpet access, at which point they can be sold on secondary markets. It’s an intriguing approach, giving what are effectively glorified tickets an afterlife as tradeable collectables that carry with them some of the mystique of the event they were originally for.

Cannes is not the only film festival to have gotten into the NFT game, with the Raindance festival creating a collection based on posters for the festival over the years. The wider film industry, too, is increasingly getting on board with the technology. Just one example is Decentralized Pictures, a blockchain-powered filmmaker platform founded by Roman Coppola and backed by Steven Soderbergh’s production company Extension 765, among others. The DAO-like platform is set to go live during the festival, using a native token, FILMCredits, as a voting mechanism to decide the worthiness of films for funding.

The Verdict

While the Cannes Producer Pass Collection is not going to set the world on fire by itself, it does represent an intriguing new opportunity for a film industry that is rapidly adopting Web3 technology. If Web3 is to succeed, it surely needs the participation of mainstream sectors and combining the glitz and glamour of Cannes, pplpleasr’s art, and a dose of innovative utility is a step in the right direction.

Can VR and AR Help with Phobias?

In line with Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we’re doing a series of articles looking at the relationship between the technologies we cover and mental health. Today, we turn our eye to the use of augmented and virtual reality to treat something almost all of us will be affected by: phobias.

What are Phobias?

Phobias differ from simple fears in that they are excessive and debilitating. Crucially, they are also irrational. Phobias encapsulate a host of fears, experienced to various different levels. While almost all of us will be mildly fearful of something, it becomes problematic when that fear is more intense – to the point of stopping people living their daily lives. Consider someone with needle phobia who cannot visit a doctor, for instance. Phobias can develop from critical, traumatic events, but can equally just slowly build over time. 

With that in mind, many people seek treatment to overcome their phobias, with a practice known as “exposure therapy” being one of the most popularly deployed. That involves a therapist attempting to help a patient overcome fears, anxieties and phobias by gradually introducing them to the object of their fears. Importantly, exposure therapy does not seek to “cure” phobias, instead equipping patients with the confidence to manage an encounter with the object of their fears.

The analogue version of such an approach involves watching videos or encountering a stimulus in the real world. Increasingly, however, VR and AR technology is being deployed instead. The genius of using AR and VR in such an approach is that patients can be exposed to a virtual representation of something that scares them while ultimately knowing that they are in a safe environment.

Just having that knowledge that what you are seeing is virtual does not, of course, eliminate the fear response (as countless videos of people screaming while falling off virtual planks can attest to). While Richie’s Plank Experience is less an exercise in curing phobias, and more an exercise in exploiting them, there are plenty of serious attempts at using VR and AR in a clinical setting.

XR Treatments

Happily, this is not some pipe dream. AR and VR are currently being used in a host of real-world medical scenarios. And medical practitioners themselves are increasingly realising the benefits of the technology. According to GlobalData’s 2021 poll on digital health in neurology, 18% of 109 industry respondents thought AR and VR solutions would be the most suitable technology to treat mental and behavioural health conditions.

In 2020 in the UK, the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) announced it had introduced virtual reality headsets to help patients combat phobias ranging from a fear of needles, heights, flying and spiders to agoraphobia and claustrophobia, as well as more unusual fears such as exams, driving, public speaking and storms.

“We are also able to completely control the virtual environment, such as changing the weather conditions for someone who is scared of flying, which can really help to prepare them to face every possible scenario in their everyday lives,” said Nesta Reeve, consultant clinical psychologist and clinical lead for the Wellbeing service. “Ultimately, we hope that more people will come forward to ask for help with their phobias now that we have this technology, and that using VR will help them to get better more quickly so that they can enjoy activities that many of us take for granted.”

VR also has enormous utility when it comes to placing people in locations it wouldn’t be safe to in the real world. When it comes to phobias, this is perfect for addressing a fear of heights, and NHS services in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire in the UK are duly offering VR exposure to heights.

Virtual reality treatment to be offered to NHS patients in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

Their approach even leverages a virtual therapist who appears via a computer-generated avatar, and is voiced by a real person. In a randomised clinical trial of fear of height treatments, the VR therapy was shown to be effective for a fear of heights (which affects 1 in 5 people). After spending an average of over two hours in the simulation, all participants showed a reduction in fear of heights, with the average reduction being 68%. 

Retired paramedic Richard, who received the treatment, said: “I lived with a debilitating fear of heights for all of my life and had to organise my life so that I completely avoided all situations that exposed me to heights and altitude as I would experience intolerable anxiety. Since having the VR-enabled therapy I can now go to my local shopping centre and I am able to freely walk around and go to all floors and even look out over the balcony.  This is something that would have been simply impossible for me to do before having this treatment.”

Help at Home

While the use of AR and VR is a potentially cheaper option for treating patients in a clinical session, particularly for patients who only need a small amount of contact with a therapist, it also means help can be accessed remotely and in the comfort of one’s own home. 

This concept of self-help powers services like oVRcome, which offers a range of VR simulations and modules for phobias, anxiety and depression – for use by children, teens and adults. The company provides its own virtual reality headset by which the content is accessed, which works by inserting a smartphone to display the content.

Meanwhile, the fact that AR can be so easily accessed from the ubiquitous smartphone means it has the greatest potential for at-home use, democratising exposure therapy by significantly lowering the barrier to entry. AR also confers its own benefits compared to VR, by blending a user’s own body and real surroundings with virtual elements. 

One example in the world of AR is Phobys, a smartphone app which is designed to reduce the fear of spiders. The experience was developed as part of a study which found the “intervention led to significantly lower subjective fear” over a controlled two-week trial. 

Effectiveness and Benefits

Among the other benefits of AR and VR exposure therapy is its repeatability (with patients allowed infinite attempts at their own pace) as well as privacy, with patients not being forced to reveal their fears to the outside world.

Interestingly, a study of the efficacy of VR for exposure therapy found varying amounts of potential depending on the specific phobias. In comparison with real-world exposure therapy, there was found to be no major difference when using VR as compared to the real thing. As such, the study recommends that VR for exposure therapy should be disseminated further – especially considering the potential for new technologies and techniques to have an even greater benefit.


It’s clear that AR and VR technologies have enormous potential for helping people safely overcome their phobias. Even in their relatively nascent stage, they are being put to use to help people in the real world. As technology develops, and virtual worlds become ever more realistic and interactable, there’s every chance AR and VR will become the treatment of choice for phobias.

NFT Spotlight: MOTHER OF CREATION by Madonna and Beeple

Please note that the following review is not an endorsement of purchasing the NFTs discussed, and the author does not themself own any of the collection.

If you’ve heard of one NFT collection over the past week, it’s probably MOTHER OF CREATION. A collaboration between singer-songwriter Madonna and NFT artist provocateur Beeple, the collection has hit the mainstream news thanks to it prominently featuring a highly detailed 3D recreation of the former’s genitalia (yes, really).

MOTHER OF CREATION is described as an “NFT Triptych”, consisting as it does of three separate short looping animated videos that combine graphic computer-generated imagery with spoken audio.

While a collaboration between a bonafide Queen of Pop and a transgressive NFT artist might sound like a match made in hell (Cher and Pak, anyone?), Beeple and Madonna are perhaps the only two members of those categories with enough in common to make it work. That’s because it’s a work that cleaves close to both artists’ oeuvres. Madonna is no stranger to baring her flesh, digital or otherwise. And in Beeple’s case, he has priors with this kind of explicit artwork – think TOXIC MASCULINITY, which paired monumental Jeff Bezos heads with equally monumental male genitalia. So how does MOTHER OF CREATION stand up?

The Collection

First, let’s set out what each piece consists of. MOTHER OF TECHNOLOGY sees a Madonna reading out the poetry of 13th-century Persian poet Rumi while robotic centipedes (representing technology, the gloss tells us) crawl out of her digital representation into a verdant forest, just as Rumi would have wanted it. MOTHER OF EVOLUTION, meanwhile, sees the same representation of Madonna releasing a swarm of butterflies (no prizes for guessing where from) into an apocalyptic cityscape, while in voiceover she reads lyrics from her 1990 song Justify My Love. Finally, in MOTHER OF NATURE, “an opening gives way to a branch,” as the gloss tactfully puts it, with a tree sprouting and flourishing in a stark and austere laboratory setting.


Apparently, this is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between the pair, which according to Beeple “makes it more special because we thought about it a lot.” One can’t help but feel that if they’d thought about it some more, they might have realised the ways the project is actively working against itself. Based on the titles of the artworks, and Madonna’s own statements (“We set out to create something that is absolutely and utterly connected to the idea of creation and motherhood”), the artists are attempting to provide a commentary on motherhood and its relationship to artistic production. but the sterility of the plastic, Barbie-esque version of Madonna (who is conspicuously non-pregnant) seems directly opposed to that ambition. 

It would be more truthful to say that the artists are actually not out to lionise motherhood but to shock instead. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that approach, but in an art form already awash with irony and cynicism, it seems tired and, perversely, distinctly un-shocking. 

Meanwhile, the audio that accompanies each piece frames what we are viewing as inspirational (“my journey through life as a woman is like that of a tree,” says Madonna in MOTHER OF TECHNOLOGY). Madonna, however, has a history of putting her foot in her mouth when it comes to attempting to say something profound, and there’s equally a sense here that an attempt at profundity has resulted in something quite empty instead.


Of the three, MOTHER OF NATURE is the most successfully realised. It benefits from seemingly having had the most attention to detail put into it of the three, with original words from Madonna and, weird as it is, some highly detailed animation work on the tree itself. Little wonder it fetched the highest price. MOTHER OF TECHNOLOGY sold for 66.55eth (approximately $135,000 at the time of writing), MOTHER OF EVOLUTION 72.05eth (approximately $147,000) and MOTHER OF NATURE 170.5eth (approximately $346,000). Altogether, that’s almost $630,000.

What can’t be denied is that the proceeds are going to worthy causes. Madonna and Beeple have pledged that all proceeds are going towards three charities, those being the NGO City of Joy, which provides a community for women survivors of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ukraine’s Voices of Children Foundation, which helps women and children affected by the ongoing war in the country, and Black Mama’s Bailout Initiative, which helps women and caregivers spend time with families outside of jail.

The Verdict

MOTHER OF CREATION is not a work that will endear anyone who is sceptical of the reputation for gaudy avarice that surrounds the NFT world, bearing all the hallmarks of bad taste and a distinct lack of subtlety. And while it’s nice that the proceeds are going to charity, that betrays the fact that this is less a serious piece of art, and more a fundraising effort – which is all the more effective the more Madonna and Beeple can generate controversy and get themselves back into the headlines. Be careful not to gaze too long into Madonna’s abyss. Because Madonna’s abyss gazes also into you.

How Brands are Embracing Web3

The history of brands on the web to date is a bumpy one. After the invention of the web in the late eighties, the potential for brands was largely unrealised – until the development of graphical, user-friendly, web browsers enabled the dot-com boom around the millennium. The subsequent bust helped bring about Web 2.0, where centralized platforms such as Google, Facebook and Apple reigned supreme, codifying the ways brands and consumers interact via advertising on social media.

This brings us to the status quo of today, where brands have largely discovered how to best work within the constraints of Web 2.0 in order to thrive. That comfortable position that brands and their marketing departments now inhabit is being threatened by the advent of Web3, however. And a shakeup may be coming just in time. Increasingly, brands are backing away from Web 2.0 platforms as they become mired in controversy. Just look at how consumer goods giant Unilever paused its Facebook and Twitter advertising in 2020, citing the polarized atmosphere in the US, with other companies including Coca-Cola following suit.

Web3 promises a more direct relationship between brands and consumers. But just as brands missed the opportunity at the very beginning of Web 1.0, there is a risk that the enormous opportunity Web3 represents will be passed up by brands that aren’t brave enough to experiment with the new technology. To that end, let’s take a closer look at the best practices brands need to bear in mind to make the best use of Web3.


As brands explore new ways to use their existing IPs in the Web3 world, one of the most intriguing possibilities is via the use of NFTs. If you’re unfamiliar with exactly what an NFT is, here’s a quick recap. Simply put, NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) are blockchain-based items which prove ownership of digital assets – everything from a piece of digital art, a weapon in a videogame, or a trading card. The key benefit of NFTs is that they can be traded on the open market, meaning they are simultaneously investments as well as art objects.

The attraction of this format to brands with existing stores of content is obvious, with one of the more successful attempts coming from the NBA with its Top Shot digital collectables that package highlights from games past and present. The sports world has been a rapid adopter of the technology, with the Chicago Bulls having minted and sold NFTs featuring their championship rings.

Get a Zach LaVine Moment™ NFT for USD $4.00

NFTs are perhaps most embedded in the public consciousness as the inescapable profile picture collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club or CryptoPunks. But NFTs can be far more than that – offering all kinds of utility that brands might find of interest. Take musician Deadmau5, for instance, who created a collection of wearable NFTs compatible with metaverse platforms such as The Sandbox. More than just being clothing items, the NFTs also confer access to a guest list for the musician’s shows.

That additional element is key to your NFTs having staying power (and not quickly burning out as so many have) – including utility alongside aesthetics. According to a report from Cointelegraph, NFT sales topped $17.7bn by the end of 2021. If brands want to cash in on that without crashing the market, they must think about connecting NFTs with real-world experiences and services, whether that’s in travel, food, gaming, banking, or any other sector.

Real examples of what that utility might look like include recent NFTs from clothing brand Coach, which featured characters from a game it had created. The launch was tied into the company’s 80th anniversary, with NFT owners being granted a real-world physical bag. Crucially, the NFTs were given away for free, garnering goodwill with the company’s community. Of course, utility needn’t always be a physical benefit, with the flipside of that approach being ensuring NFTs have utility in the metaverse.

The Metaverse

Surely one of the most enticing possibilities for bands with a certain amount of customer recognition is in creating virtual experiences within the rapidly growing arena of the metaverse and its many virtual worlds. Indeed, the global metaverse market is estimated to grow from $45.4bn in 2019 to $1.5tn in 2030 according to PwC’s Seeing is Believing report. Such initiatives prove attractive to both a brand’s existing customer base and the digital communities already existing within the metaverse, significantly expanding the potential audience they can access.

The metaverse’s continuing growth has been spurred by world events. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns that led to the closure of many physical retail stores, many pivoted into digital spaces. One such example was sportswear brand New Balance, which partnered with to open a virtual store accessible via a web browser back in 2021. The store was fully explorable, enabling users to purchase clothes after trying them on via a Ready Player Me avatar. Thanks to the interoperability of their offering, the outfits can be used across all the many apps and games which support the platform.  

That was a fairly rote, metaverse-lite reimagining of a physical space, but other brands have pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the metaverse much farther. Yahoo, Selfridges, Pokemon and fashion designer Charli Cohen developed a metaverse experience known as ElectricCity, which allows consumers to simultaneously purchase real and digital copies of the same piece of clothing, again making use of Ready Player Me’s interoperable avatars.

Electric/City - An Immersive shopping experience

That’s far from the only instance of clothing brands entering the metaverse (a process to which they are well-suited thanks to the easily digitisible nature of garments). Pull&Bear, for instance, launched a simultaneous campaign across its real store and the Pull&Bear virtual world.

A step above that is owning virtual land in a dedicated multiverse platform like Somnium Space or Decentraland. Occupying land on an established platform means more eyeballs on your space, as well as less development work with the platform having already done the heavy lifting. 

The Sandbox is another platform particularly well known for hosting branded experiences and content, from heavy hitters like RTFKT (owned by Nike), Snoop Dog, Adidas, and many more.

If actually owning the land is too much risk for a brand to take on, services exist to take the worry away by providing virtual land for rent. Volatility in the digital land market has opened up opportunities to rent virtual spaces rather than purchasing them outright, in order to mitigate the risk of being left with a useless asset. Landowners such as Admix, which holds property across a range of metaverses, help brands to lease land for as long as is necessary. That might coincide with the duration of a particular marketing campaign or event, for example, allowing brands flexibility while ensuring they aren’t exposed to the risk of holding virtual land themselves.

That’s not to say that brands can’t create metaverses of their own, even setting them up in such a way that they can act as brokers for other brands. Volkswagen subsidiary CUPRA, a manufacturer of sports cars, is creating its own metaverse known as METAHYPE, which it describes as “a universe that acts as a collaborative space where brands, start-ups, and content creators provide a wide variety of events, gatherings, and experiences for individuals to create and share culture.” The metaverse platform is planned to enable brands and individuals to highlight NFTs, display digital and physical products, and host virtual events, with CUPRA saying that it intended to collaborate with others such as Barcelone-based music festival Primavera Sound.

METAHYPE | Metaverse Virtual World | Join METAHYPE

It needn’t only be brands in “cool” sectors like fashion, gaming or the automotive industry that can make waves in the metaverse. Look no further than banking giant HSBC, which earlier this year announced a new partnership with The Sandbox to help users engage with the business inside the metaverse. HSBC duly acquired a piece of virtual real estate, which it said it would use to engage sports, esports and gaming enthusiasts.

Suresh Balaji, Chief Marketing Officer, Asia-Pacific, HSBC, said: “The metaverse is how people will experience Web3, the next generation of the Internet — using immersive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and extended reality. At HSBC, we see great potential to create new experiences through emerging platforms, opening up a world of opportunity for our current and future customers and for the communities we serve. Through our partnership with The Sandbox we are making our foray into the metaverse, allowing us to create innovative brand experiences for new and existing customers. We’re excited to be working with our sports partners, brand ambassadors, and Animoca Brands to co-create experiences that are educational, inclusive and accessible.”

And while making this leap might seem daunting, we’ve seen plenty of brands dipping their toes via tie-ins with games with metaverse aspirations such as Fortnite or Roblox. whether it’s Marvel skins in Fortnite or the Nike Land experience in Roblox. While it’s true these aren’t truly Web3 partnerships, they suggest the level of interest that already exists in the possibilities of the metaverse for brands, and herald what is to come.


Another stalwart of Web3 is, of course, cryptocurrency. And when it comes to brands, cryptocurrency tokens are gaining ground as a replacement for traditional fan clubs, with fan tokens for football clubs being particularly prominent. Ownership of the tokens typically confers some benefits such as discounts in club shops, and the possibility to win tickets. 

Socios is the largest entity in the space, facilitating the club coins of some of the world’s biggest football teams, including Barcelona, Juventus and Arsenal. One intriguing possibility the fan tokens represent is bestowing upon holders the ability to vote on decisions the team make, with the example proffered by Socios being deciding what is written on a captain’s armband. According to the BBC, more than £262m ($350m) had been spent on virtual currencies by December 2021.

This approach can also serve to regenerate a brand’s image. The storied video game company Atari is just one example, having launched its own Atari cryptocurrency token on the Ethereum blockchain, with the ambitious aim of becoming “the token of reference for the interactive entertainment industry”.

The Challenges

We would be remiss not to mention the difficulties brands face when entering Web3. At the time of writing, the Web3 world is reeling from a cryptocurrency price meltdown, with the Terra Luna cryptocurrency (a key element of one of the most popular examples of a so-called “stablecoin” in TerraUSD) losing almost all of its value. Tally that with huge drops in the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum and it’s thought that over $200bn was erased from the crypto market in a day – potentially spooking brands who might not want to be involved with such a volatile sector. Of course, the fact that the market is currently in the doldrums means the barrier to entry has been significantly lowered – with the price of virtual land also crashing down.

Brands should also be aware that venturing into NFTs might not prove popular with certain audiences. In the gaming space particularly, vociferous opposition to NFTs on the basis that they are simple cash grabs has forced a number of companies into embarrassing climb-downs, including British development studio Team17 and publishing giant Ubisoft.

Aside from the aforementioned issues of the current cryptocurrency climate and a trenchant disdain for NFTs, because paid advertising will become increasingly difficult in the world of near-anonymous users that Web3 encourages, brands will have to shed their existing Web 2.0 expectations and understand how to engage communities of users with similar interests.

Image-conscious brands will also have to reckon with the decentralization inherent to Web3, and what that means in terms of regulation and unintended reuse of your content. On the centralized platforms of today, moderation is a given, but Web3 is rendering these existing approaches to safety unusable.

The Sandbox Press page

In the metaverse, virtual land is populated by anonymous users who are free to do whatever they want with their spaces and behave accordingly.  While the kinds of content that advertisements might appear alongside today is endlessly varied, in the metaverse brands will have to contend with that same variability in the actual platforms hosting the content as well. And in worlds where branded items might be equippable, brands face the risk of unintended association with potentially undesirable behaviour and activities – adding a whole new dimension for brands to consider.

While the unpredictability inherent to the space will mean brand managers have to be on their toes, it’s likely riskier to just wipe your hands of Web3. Instead, brands should be leading from the front to ensure control of their message, heading off users and creating whole new associations for existing properties. In the worst case, we can use the example of Winnie the Pooh, who became the subject of a popular meme used to insult President Xi Jinping of China – resulting in a ban on releasing the film Christopher Robin within China.


The ultimate takeaway is that the brands already succeeding in Web3 are the ones that are able to create communities of passionate users, as opposed to the passive audiences they are used to advertising to in the Web 2.0 era. It’s clear that Web3 is bursting with potential new ways for brands to attract customers, but seizing the opportunity will require bravery and a willingness to adapt new modes of thinking.

NFT Spotlight: The Underground Sistine Chapel by Pascal Boyart

Please note that the following review is not an endorsement of purchasing the NFTs discussed, and the author does not themself own any of the collection.

NFTs are traditionally associated with pieces of digital art (hence the common criticism of them being glorified JPEGs). A collection from the Paris-based artist Pascal Boyart, otherwise known as PBoy, deftly shows that NFTs needn’t be only restricted to digital artworks, however. 

His Underground Sistine Chapel is an NFT collection that serves as a collision between a Renaissance masterpiece and a modern-style PFP collection. Derived from a recreation of Michelangelo’s sixteenth-century Sistine Chapel fresco The Last Judgment, the collection splits the overall artwork into individual pieces focusing on a specific character. The physical mural is located in an old gold foundry in suburban Paris and was painted during a COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. The 100 square-meter creation features over 400 characters, each of which has been photographed and turned into the 404 individual NFTs that form the collection.

The Background

Boyart has been a pioneer in the crypto/art space for quite some time, having first monetized his frescoes in 2017 via QR codes that linked to bitcoin donations. Via that method, he accrued 1.21 bitcoin over a period of two years, before issuing his first NFTs in 2019 – two halves of a fresco called “Daddy, what’s money?” which had been painted two years earlier. Bornet’s website justifies the creation of NFTs as a means of making the artwork “immutable”, owing to the fact that the building on which the mural is painted will at some point be demolished. 

Released in 2021 alongside a feature-length documentary on the mural’s creation, Underground Sistine Chapel builds on Boyart’s existing modus operandi when it comes to digitising his physical art – apportioning up frescoes for sale as NFTs via photographs of individual elements present in the piece. Further burnishing Underground Sistine Chapel  Web3 credentials, the work itself was financed via NFT presales – representing a potentially transformative new way of raising money for artistic projects that sidesteps patrons or crowdfunding efforts.

Pascal Boyart - Artists for Assange
Pascal Boyart

The Mural

Taken as a whole, the full power of the mural becomes apparent – drawing both from Michaelangelo’s original composition and Boyart’s modern rendering. Viewing the piece side-by-side with Michelangelo’s original, we can see this is not a one-to-one recreation. Aside from the shifting around of elements to account for features such as windows in the wall upon which the mural is painted, Boyart also makes his own changes, including swapping the gender of characters and adding modern elements such as depictions of a power plant, an Apple monitor in place of a stone tablet, and falling credit cards shaken out by a demon. Combined with a graphical, comic book style that includes bold black outlines around characters, the overall effect is to wryly equate our modern way of life with the apocalyptic scene depicted by the original. 

The Collection

It’s foolish to devote too much time to the overall image, however, as the NFT collection is experienced by the purchaser as a depiction of an individual character rather than a full composition. 

227 - The delicate - The Underground Sistine Chapel by Pascal Boyart |  OpenSea

Thankfully, the project holds up in miniature. These are a far cry from the algorithmically arranged faces we’re used to seeing, with each character inheriting the perfectly sculpted and intriguingly posed bodies of Michelangelo’s original, only usually with some enjoyable modern twist. Standouts include Jesus Christ himself (which benefits compositionally from the crowd of onlookers surrounding him, as well as including a special animation), the boatman Charon (who is suitably menacing and largely faithful to the original), and a herald angel who appears to have swapped a horn for an iPad.

A small amount of animated zooming and vignetting on each NFT makes each piece feel sufficiently “Web3”, rather than just being a static image – though it does slightly detract from the viewability of the characters. And it must also be said that many of the NFTs consist of abstract and not immediately readable heads that suffer from not being able to portray the surrounding context. In such cases, all we can really witness are blobs of black and skin tones that don’t make for a particularly captivating image.

The Verdict

Boyart’s blending of a physical artwork with digital NFTs used both to fund the piece and prolong its lifespan could well serve as a template for other artists going forwards. But The Underground Sistine Chapel project doesn’t stand up purely thanks to its novelty. Its invocation of the world-famous original paired with modern references serves as a clever piece of satire, and while the full effect doesn’t quite make it through to the atomised NFTs, the pieces are always at the very least graphically arresting.